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The Summer Game
 
by
Roger Angell
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The Summer Game

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  875 ratings  ·  33 reviews
These writings, which first appeared in The New Yorker, encompass ten years of the most profound change in the history of the pastime. Roger Angell has watched and recorded most of the great and small events of our turbulent diamond age: the rise of California baseball; expansion, and the comical and agonizing sufferings of the early Mets; the fall of the Yankee empire; th...more
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published September 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,657)
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jeremy
well before babip, vorp, war, and eqa became common parlance in the realm of baseball reporting, a different breed of sportswriter once thrived within the pages of newspapers and magazines across the country. perhaps none excelled as greatly in their attempts to reanimate a ballgame's action and essence in print as longtime new yorker editor roger angell. angell is well known as one of baseball's finest chroniclers, and his first book on the subject, the summer game, amply exemplifies the reason...more
Ed
Nov 19, 2008 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Baseball and all sports fans
Even as I was doing it, I wondered why I picked this tattered volume from my bookcase to re-read 20 or more years after I first read it.

While, I'm a baseball fan, I'm not an addict. While I love reading history, I've never been particularly interested in spots history. Roger Angell is a good writer but not the best "New Yorker" contributor I've read.

Then I got it. I wanted to take myself back to a more peaceful time - 1961-1971. After the recent hard fought election, with two wars going on and a...more
Brian Eshleman
Missing Link between my father's dalliance with baseball through the mid-60's and the game I came to know and love as a child of the 80's. Expansion, the move indoors, and the protracted competition for Americans' attention and entertainment dollar that baseball once took for granted are chronicled with prose that isn't argumentative for the Good Old Days or manipulatively emotional. Instead, Angell uses a light, lyrical style to look in on the game year-by-year, usually at World Series that len...more
Phyrman21
I loved Roger Angell's short stories. His articles in the New Yorker over the years have been gems. I love baseball, as does he. He has such a talent for writing that he makes even the simplest parts of the game of baseball extrememely interesting. That said, the Summer Game was a little hard for me to read. It was written about a time that I was not alive for, and it seemed a lot of knowledge about the time was required to really get into this book. I recognized some of the names of the great p...more
Kate
Not only is Roger Angell brilliant, he's also prescient. These pieces are all at least 40 years old, predating the era of free agency, and yet Angell forewarns us about the growing distance between player and fan. But, like all of his books, "The Summer Game" is a celebration of the beauty and joy of the game and its players. It's also full of Angell's sly humor. Despite all the changes Major League Baseball has seen in the ensuing years, the game remains the most perfect ever invented. And watc...more
PIETER
A Summer of Pleasure

I loved Angell's comparisons of action on and off the field with other images which are so a propos but very original thoughts. I give this book the highest possible 4-star rating only because I gave 5 to a very few others which moved me slightly more. I am speaking of The Glory of Their Times, Crazy '08, and Boys of Summer.This book is in this same very major league.
M. Milner
An enjoyable, if very New Yorker-ish series of essays about pro baseball, originally written between 1962 and 1971. In spots it's pretty dated (him complaining about expansion, decades before the leagues exploded to 30 teams; arguments against the Championship Series, in the days before the Divisional Series, let alone the Wild Card play-in; etc). At times its somewhat stuffy and at others it's completely wrong-headed, but by and large it's an enjoyable book.

It's mostly Angell recapping each se...more
Margaret
A classic baseball book, collecting articles Angell wrote for the New Yorker from 1962 to 1972. Angell's descriptions are so vivid that it's almost like being at the games he narrates (including most of the World Series meetings during the period of the articles); the pieces are remarkably fresh given their age (hey, all of these games were played before I was born!). Angell muses on numerous aspects of baseball: the awful beginnings and eventual triumphs of the New York Mets, the advent of dome...more
Holly M
This is the most beautifully written, smartly felt baseball book I've ever encountered, and it's probably in the five best non-fiction collections I've read. I cannot possibly recommend it enthusiastically enough. Angell is a treasure.
John
sometimes great, sometimes good. loved the contemporary view of a changing game, wished there was more about the changes, and personalities, less about the play by play.
Ivan
This is a great book if you're looking for a reference guide to the national pastime in the 1960s. And while the essays possess some excellent writing, the book does not lend itself to fans of narrative non-fiction.

The most interesting tidbits are Angell's dissection of the Mets' early, comical seasons, as well as of the Astrodome's monstrous and distracting electronic scoreboard, which heralded in the idea that the game of baseball is not enough to entertain stadium crowds; he writes:

"I do not
...more
Ralph
Baseball as Poetry, History, Politics, Business, America, and as Life...
No one can capture the game like Roger Angell. This is my second time reading this book (I read it over 25 years ago)
This book takes us through the mid to late 60's and the early 70's where the names, teams, and the deeds come back to life... the Big Red Machine, Gibson, Brock and Flood and the Cardinals, the Pitiful and the Miracle Mets, Yaz, Cash, Kaline and the Tigers, and the great Willie Mays.
The best candy you can find...more
Jonathan
Being a fan of baseball, I picked this book up. The problem is, it doesn't tell a story. It reads like a compilation of articles that are for the most part highlight reels of various games played in various seasons. At times, Angell gets elegant in his language, but not dramatically so. In the end, I couldn't finish this one. It wasn't compelling or well-written enough to sustain my interest, despite my interest in the subject matter. I'll let you know if I come across a better baseball book.
Kevin Brennan
Beautiful writing about baseball in an era I have high nostalgia for. The only problem I have with the book is that it's occasionally repetitive because it's something of an annual wrap-up of each World Series from 1962 to 1971. Still, Angell is the master of baseball writing, and this book is an essential if you're a true fan of the game.
Jamie
Roger Angell, a New Yorker sports reporter (who knew there was such a thing?), writes eloquently about the national pastime. While many of the essays collected here detail Angell's love of the New York Mets and their comically disastrous first seasons, the dated references and tales of now obscure players stand up surprisingly well. Angell's love of the game resonates even now and his crisp descriptions of on-field action have not aged a day.

Al
A very enjoyable read for any fan of baseball in the 1960s....the book is a compilation of the author's writing for each year spanning 1962-71 with the primary thrust being the World Series played in each of these years. He also provides memories of the improbable evolution of the NY Mets from 120-game losers in 1962 to World Champions a scant seven years later. A great read for any fan of baseball.
Brandon


I love that Angell writes with the heart and interest and affection of a fan rather than the cool journalistic indifference. It pulls you in and you can't help but join with him in rooting for this beloved American game and it's dynamic class of teams and characters. The one downfall to this book is that a lot of the chapters start to feel and read like the ones before it.
rick ohren
"This was a new recognition that perfection is admirable but a trifle inhuman, and that a stumbling kind of semi-success can be much more warming. Most of all, perhaps, these exultant yells for the Mets were also yells for ourselves, and came from a wry, half-understood recognition that there is more Met than Yankee in every one of us. I knew for whom that foghorn blew; it blew for me."
Carla
One of the best books on baseball observations ever written. The author's love for and in-depth knowledge of the game come through loud and clear. The book is as good now as it was when I first read it over 30 years ago; maybe even better because now it's nostalgic as well.
Joseph Wallace
Still the warmest, most likeable baseball book I've ever read. As a New Yorker who grew up with the Mets, I'll always be grateful that Angell was there to document the team's comical--and sometimes horrifying--early years.
Schmerica
The rating is less the book's fault than my own; this is a collection of 50-year-old essays, written as the events happened, and it just made me crave something more book-structured and with more context.
Karen
A book about baseball from 1962 to 1971. If you don't eat, drink & sleep baseball, you will not like this book. Even for a true baseball fan it can be a slow plodding read in some places.
Dave
I read this collection of essays a long time ago. I reccomend it to any one who is both a baseball fan as well as fan of well written material.
Ann
Outstanding. Angell's witty and informative essays are the best I've read. Delightful to read his take on games my Dad remembered.
Dave Moyer
Angell is one of the best writers around of any genre, but this is the all-time classic baseball book.
Chris Schaffer
Angell is the best baseball writer there is. Great summaries of world series and seasons between '62 and '71.
Becca
As a kid I read everything I could get my hands on about baseball. This was a particular favorite.
Lou
Sep 01, 2007 Lou rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Baseball fans, nostalgics
Long narratives about the young Metropolitans. Great chapter to chapter as well as in its entirety.
Dolores
The best book on baseball I have ever read, period.
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18856
Roger Angell (b. 1920) is a celebrated New Yorker writer and editor. First published in the magazine in 1944, he became a fiction editor and regular contributor in 1956; and remains as a senior editor and staff writer. In addition to seven classic books on baseball, which include The Summer Game (1972), Five Seasons (1977), and Season Ticket (1988), he has written works of fiction, humor, and a me...more
More about Roger Angell...
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“This was a new recognition that perfection is admirable but a trifle inhuman, and that a stumbling kind of semi-success can be much more warming. Most of all, perhaps, these exultant yells for the Mets were also yells for ourselves, and came from a wry, half-understood recognition that there is more Met than Yankee in every one of us. I knew for whom that foghorn blew; it blew for me.” 4 likes
“my favorite urban flower, the baseball box score” 1 likes
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